Movie Review – Smile (2022) | It Follows The Babadook

Wow. Smile was a difficult movie to sit through. I’ve been trying to sum up my thoughts on the film as coherently and objectively as I can, but I realized that’s not the point of a review. So instead, I’m going to tell you what the film is, what it does, and how it impacted me. Maybe, it’ll impact you, too.

What It Is

I sort of gave it away in the headline, but Smile is a mixture of It Follows and The Babadook. It’s like It Follows in that you can pass the curse along, but it’s like The Babadook in that the curse is mental illness.

It seems like such a simple concept when you have those other two films as crutches, but honestly, Smile stands out on its own for a plethora of reasons.

What It Does

One of my favorite (and least favorite) things about this movie is how it deals with suicide and the trauma that arises from it. It’s really difficult to watch for anybody, I’m sure, but for someone like me, with a history of suicide in the family, it was brutal.

However, it was also refreshing. Much like The Babadook, Smile treats the subject with the respect and reverence it deserves, while wrapping it in the “shareable curse” recipe from It Follows.

The result is a film that handles a delicate topic with care, while still making it super entertaining to watch.

How It Impacted Me

Like I said, there’s a history of suicide in my family. There’s a long history of depression, too, which sadly includes me. Therefore, watching a film that deals with depression, suicide and trauma comes with a huge trigger warning attached to it.

However, as art often does, it helped me process some of my own feelings toward my own condition, my family’s history and the impact of one’s actions. It was definitely not an easy watch, but it was one that impacted me and made me better for having watched it.

Is It For Other People, Too?

Do you need to have a history with mental health to enjoy the film? Actually, no. I’d argue you’d perhaps enjoy it more if you didn’t. The movie is just a good horror movie, too. Full stop.

READ MORE: How The Witch Paved the Way for Eggers and Taylor-Joy

There is suspense, a few jump scares, some crazy angles, great shots, the music is fantastic and the acting is top-notch across the board.

So I’d say Smile is a pretty complete film: it’s entertaining if that’s all you’re after, but if you want the floor shaken from under your feet, it can do that, too.


Honestly, my only nitpick is that the car-casting wasn’t that great. I’m a huge believer in casting the right car for the right character (I love Walter White’s Pontiac Aztec in Breaking Bad, for example). Sosie Bacon’s Kia just didn’t do it for me. I have a Kia, don’t get me wrong, they’re great cars. But they are “invisible” cars. No personality.


Other than that, I’d say Parker Finn knocked it out of the park with Smile. This is a movie you should definitely check out. Just be careful and know it’ll kick you in the guts.

About Marcos Codas 279 Articles
Lover of portable gaming and horror cinema. Indie filmmaker and game developer. Multimedia producer. Born in Paraguay, raised in Canada. Huge fan of "The Blair Witch Project", and "Sonic 3D Blast". Deputy head at Vita Player and its parent organization, Infinite Frontiers. Like what I do? Donate a coffee:

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.